group of employees sitting around sheet of paper with charity on it and heart (Photo: Shutterstock)

As the year comes to an end, and our calendars offer us structured time away from work to look back at the year gone by, something of a collective consciousness opens up. People who don’t typically think about charity or giving throughout the year are encouraged to do so. A mass movement around the holiday giving season encourages friends and colleagues to donate their time and money to help those in need. Yet, in spite of (or perhaps because of) the holiday spirit, corporate philanthropy sometimes feels complicated.

There are many misconceptions around corporate giving – the most common being that it’s a self-serving excuse to make companies look better. Perhaps this cynicism stems from a sense of corporate convolution around the practice. What’s the most strategic initiative to garner media attention? Will there be tax write-offs? What’s our initiative’s clever catchphrase? Too many people get caught up in the “corporate” part and forget about the real reason to be philanthropic: to give.

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